Nigeria comic Baba Suwe held in Lagos as drug suspect

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A Nigerian film market in Lagos (archive shot)Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Nigeria has its own thriving film industry, known as Nollywood

Popular Nigerian comedian Baba Suwe has been detained at Lagos airport on suspicion of drug trafficking.

He was arrested as he was about to board a flight to Paris after a body scanner identified suspected drugs in his stomach, an official said.

Mr Suwe's detention has shocked Nigerians as he is a much-loved comedian, the BBC's Chris Ewokor in the capital, Abuja, says.

Mr Suwe, who was arrested on Wednesday, has not yet been charged.

A spokesman for Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ofoyeju Mitchell, told the BBC that Mr Suwe, 53, had been under "observation" since his arrest.

'Befuddled butler'

It was suspected that he ingested the drugs and investigators were waiting to see whether he would excrete them, Mr Mitchell said.

Mr Suwe was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria's main city, after going through a body scanner before catching an Air France flight to Paris.

Mr Suwe, whose real name is Babatunde Omidina, is a famous comedian in Nigeria's film industry, known as Nollywood, says our correspondent.

He acts in both English and Yoruba language films, often playing the role of a befuddled butler or security guard.

President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Segun Arinze, said Mr Suwe's arrest was unfortunate.

"If truly he is arrested in connection with drugs, he has come to the end of his career," he told Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper.

Nigeria is a popular transit point for drugs to Europe and the US.

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